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There are many considerations to take into account when you are planning and designing a custom-built columbarium. The Eickhof columbarium, fabricated from 3/8” thick cement fiber building board with concealed hardware for fastening the niche fronts, allows columbarium design independent of mold or form. The columbarium can be designed to accommodate existing interior or exterior walls. The columbarium can also be designed as a free-standing structure in many different exterior configurations. Eickhof Columbaria has also fabricated free-standing columbaria for interior spaces.
A custom-built columbarium can be designed so that it blends with, and is appropriate for, the existing architecture of your space. In addition to granite as a finish material for your columbarium, Eickhof Columbaria can provide wood, bronze, slate, limestone, travertine, marble, aluminum, or just about any other appropriate material. The Eickhof columbarium fabrication method also allows for embellishment of the columbarium. The Eickhof concealed hardware for fastening niche fronts provides a smooth surface, devoid of exposed fasteners and battens. This provides an exceptional opportunity for columbarium embellishment. This embellishment may include different types of incised crosses, religious symbols, or architectural symbols. Religious or other inspirational text can be incised into the stone niche fronts and trim. Incised stone embellishment can be highlighted in gold leaf, left natural, or highlighted in different colors with a special paint called lithochrome. These embellishments can sometimes take the form of raised surfaces, contrasting stone colors, and different types of stone finishes. Other embellishments may include artwork fashioned from mosaic, bronze, or fine wood.
For exterior installations, in addition to columbaria mounted to existing walls, the Eickhof niche fabrication method creates a structural niche cabinet. In many instances, this allows for free-standing columbarium walls without the need for structural supports or backup walls. Free-standing columbaria can be single sided or double sided. In addition to straight walls, Eickhof free-standing columbaria can be curved, circular, serpentine, or semi-circular. Eickhof Columbaria also fabricates double sided columbaria having niches that are placed back to back. The back to back niches share the same foundation and the same capstone. Because the columbaria are designed in a back to back configuration, they are space efficient, and by sharing the same foundation and capstone, they are very cost effective. Capstones for exterior columbaria are most often fashioned from the following three materials: granite, limestone, or cast stone. Granite is the most durable capstone material, but also the most expensive, especially if it is fabricated with a pitched design. Cast stone, which is architectural pre-cast concrete, is economical and has been used with good results. Limestone is a handsome stone and economical, especially if the capstone is going to be fabricated in a pitched design. To give you a little more information on Indiana Limestone, please review the following. Some of the most famous buildings constructed with Indiana Limestone are as follows: The Empire State Building in New York, the Tribune Tower in Chicago, and the Pentagon and the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. Thirty-five of the state capitol buildings are made of Indiana Limestone, as well as a number of other famous buildings throughout the country.
In many instances on free-standing single sided columbaria, the back side and ends of the columbarium niches are finished in materials that may be similar to, or the same as, the finish materials on the existing architecture of surrounding structures. This is also true with the ends of columbaria that are mounted against an existing wall. Most often this material is masonry (brick, rubble stone, etc). Eickhof Columbaria can equip its columbarium cabinets with masonry ties and steel lintels, to fasten and support the masonry, as an integral part of the Eickhof columbarium niche structure. On free-standing columbaria this provides columbarium installations free from the additional cost and space required for separate masonry backup walls. Without masonry backup walls, the thinner columbarium wall may be viewed as more esthetically pleasing. A thinner columbarium wall also requires less foundation materials and the capstone can be designed with less width. It is surprising how many columbarium garden areas having space constraints will benefit from the additional inches gained by eliminating unnecessary masonry back up walls